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President Trump has nominated conservative Tenth Circuit judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court

Right-wing Transgender Rights

Tenth Circuit Court of AppealsPresident Trump has made his nomination to the Supreme Court: conservative Tenth Circuit judge Neil Gorsuch. Several LGBT organizations are already issuing statements opposing the nomination. Lambda Legal, who has never opposed a nominee before confirmation hearings, will oppose him, pointing to his decision in the Hobby Lobby case, as well as some transgender rights cases:

In several cases, Lambda Legal is fighting for the right of transgender students to use school restrooms that match who they are. The Supreme Court may decide this issue this spring.Additionally, protections against employment discrimination affecting LGBT people are likely to come before the Court very soon, as cases Lambda Legal has filed on behalf of math teacher Kim Hively and security guard Jameka Evans—both fired for being lesbians—make their way through the federal court system.

“Judge Gorsuch may very well be the decisive vote in these cases and others, and his extreme record suggests he could roll back the tremendous progress our country has made towards recognizing the fundamental rights LGBT people and everyone living with HIV,” said Tiven. “While any nominee would be difficult to accept given that this is a seat stolen from a democratically-elected president, we believe that Judge Gorsuch is an especially dangerous jurist to place on the highest court in the land.”

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) also opposes his nomination:

“Never in the history of our movement have we had more at stake as a community, or as a country,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Since the moment he stepped foot in the Oval Office, President Trump has attacked equality. He has signed executive orders that undermine our country’s most cherished values and appointed anti-LGBTQ cabinet nominees who have spent their careers undermining civil rights. And now, he has nominated Judge Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, fulfilling his campaign promise to nominate a justice in the mold of Antonin Scalia, one of the most vehemently anti-LGBTQ justices to ever sit on the court who once went so far as to compare gay people to murderers. The Supreme Court has played a central role in advancing the promise of equality for LGBTQ Americans, and Judge Gorsuch’s anti-equality record — from opposing crucial medical treatment for a transgender person to supporting a license to discriminate for private corporations — make him unfit to sit on the nation’s highest court. We cannot afford a justice who will roll back our rights, or who will be a rubber stamp for Donald Trump’s unconstitutional actions. And America cannot afford to have Judge Gorsuch on the Supreme Court. We oppose this nomination.”

SCOTUSBlog has two posts about his decisions generally ( and here.)

When more organizations or LGBT media have commentary we’ll post it.

UPDATE: Here’s PFLAG’s statement. A statement from Freedom for All Americans is here, and one from the National Center for Transgender Rights is here.


  • 1. VIRick  |  January 31, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    Latest Up-Date on Muslim Ban and Suspension of Refugee Program

    John Kelly, secretary of the Department of homeland Security, announced at a press conference on Tuesday, 31 January 2017, that more than 800 refugees will be allowed into the USA this week and processed for waivers despite President Trump’s executive order temporarily suspending the US refugee program.

    Kevin McAleenan, acting commissioner of the US Customs and Border Control, said that 721 travelers, so far, were adversely affected by the Muslim travel ban which went into effect Friday, 27 January 2017, without prior notice, and which, as a result, caused widespread confusion and protests at airports across the country.

    The "New York Times" reported Sunday, 31 January 2017, that Kelly learned about the order as it was being signed on television.

    In any/all of these accounts, LGBT individuals (no doubt, for their own security and protection) are not separately identified as such, so one has no idea whether, or how many, might be accounted for in any of these numbers.

  • 2. josejoram  |  February 2, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    Is this true?:

  • 3. VIRick  |  February 2, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    José, yes. A more extended account, with many more direct quotes, was published yesterday in "The Nation" under the heading, "Leaked Draft of Trump’s Religious Freedom Order Reveals Sweeping Plans to Legalize Discrimination," and to which I already posted a link lower down in this thread, but will re-post again here:

    People have been methodically and deliberately leaking draft documents like this in an effort to expose the insanity of most of the proposals, with the hoped-for end-result of having them killed off prior to their enactment.

    Similarly, as preposterous as this may sound, the rumors that people on the Mexican side of the US-Mexico border are moving away (ever since the election) are not only true, but the numbers are turning into a flood, after he threatened to send US troops to invade Mexico. The population drain is most noticeable in Ciudad Juárez and in northern Tamaulipas. Information I have seen from Mexico indicates they are moving south, but that may not account for everyone.

  • 4. ianbirmingham  |  January 31, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    Here is a 2016 speech Gorsuch gave, in which Gorsuch publicly performs analingus on Antonin Scalia (who is certainly one of the world's biggest assholes):

    Here is the PFAW analysis of Gorsuch's judicial record:

  • 5. VIRick  |  January 31, 2017 at 8:55 pm

    "Gorsuch publicly performs analingus on Antonin Scalia (who is certainly one of the world's biggest assholes)."

    Ian, again, like Dave, you're being way too kind with your extremely understated understatement.

  • 6. allan120102  |  January 31, 2017 at 9:08 pm

    Durango is about to vote on same sex marriage right now, meanwhile it has prohibit child marriage 19-2.

  • 7. ianbirmingham  |  January 31, 2017 at 9:36 pm

    Dem Nat'l Committee leadership race narrows after religion vs. gay rights dispute

  • 8. VIRick  |  January 31, 2017 at 9:40 pm

    Mexico: Durango Congress Voting on Marriage Equality Right Now Tonight, 31 January 2017

    Per Daniel Berezowsky:

    Durango está por convertirse en el estado número 9 en reconocer el matrimonio igualitario en su código civil.

    Durango is about to become the 9th state to recognize marriage equality in its civil code (and will be the 12th Mexican jurisdiction with marriage equality).

    Per Alex Orué:

    El Matrimonio Igualitario al parecer se votará en el Congreso Durango hasta en su 3ra sesión ordinaria del día… o sea en 5 minutos.

    Marriage equality will apparently be voted on at the Durango Congress in its 3rd ordinary session of the day … in 5 minutes.

    It's tomorrow here already, and they still have not voted. Instead, 6 minutes ago, they called a 30 minute recess. I am attempting to watch the vote live, but nothing is happening.

  • 9. VIRick  |  January 31, 2017 at 9:50 pm

    Venezuela: Signing Process for "Popular Demand" Before TSJ Completed

    The signing process, which was undertaken throughout Venezuela for the popular demand before the Tribunal Supremo de Justicia for marriage equality, is now finished:

    Per Venezuela Igualitaria:

    Lara es el estado con más adhesiones ¡Un récord!. Gracias al equipo de Barquisimeto y personas larenses que exigen matrimonio igualitario.

    Lara is the state with the most signatories. A record! Thanks to the team from Barquisimeto and to all Larenses who demand marriage equality.

  • 10. Fortguy  |  January 31, 2017 at 10:11 pm

    Texas Lege update: Today Gov. Greg Abbott gave his State Of The State address before the Lege. In his speech, the guv declared his "emergency" agenda meaning that any legislation addressing these four issues may be sent from committee to the floor for action before the March 10 stop sign all other legislation requires. The issues the guv considers to be "emergencies" are:

    1. Banning "sanctuary cities" after which I presume Arlington and Lubbock will suddenly emerge as the state's two largest cities.

    2. Fixing the state's child welfare system. This is a truly horrendous clusterf*ck. The state's CPS agency is severely understaffed, and its caseworkers are underpaid, overworked, and have a high turnover rate. Add to this tragic headlines of kids being killed in unvetted foster families and unplaced kids sleeping in state offices. Expect the Lege to do everything they can to reform the system as long as they don't have to spend much money to do it.

    3. Ethics reform. Hah! It's like the weather. Every session of the Lege talks about it, but nobody ever does anything about it. This debate will happen without any GOP legislators even mentioning AG Ken Paxton or Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller who are both under YUGE ethical scrutiny now and face reelection in 2018.

    4. Passing a resolution calling for a convention to amend the U.S. Constitution. What could possibly go wrong?

    Patrick Svitek, The Texas Tribune: In State of State, Abbott imposes hiring freeze, declares 4 issues "emergencies"

    Meanwhile, Equality Texas has added two more bills they oppose and one of which has been filed since I last provided an update for a total of eight. These are:

    HB 1362 by Rep. Matt Shaheen (R-Plano) is a much, much shorter House version of SB 6 except that it doesn't include the loophole for sex predators to dress as janitors, plumbers, or EMTs if they would really rather not wear lipstick and high heels to assault girls in the ladies' rooms. Also unlike SB 6, it doesn't provide an exemption for private parties who lease public space such as professional sports teams playing in taxpayer-supported stadiums, ballparks, or arenas.

    SB 4 by Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) is not specifically anti-LGBT but rather an anti-immigrant "sanctuary cities" bill (and therefore under Abbott's emergency agenda) that would keep local jails from releasing detained individuals who are undocumented and would forbid local governments from prohibiting police inquiry into the legal status of people they stop or question. This bill, as its number would suggest, has been around for a while and is a priority of Lite Guv Potty Patrick. I suspect it became a priority of EQTX over the sh*tstorm of the past weekend.

    The filing deadline for new bills is also March 10.

    EQTX's priority legislation, both pro and con, are here: Legislation 2017

  • 11. Fortguy  |  February 1, 2017 at 12:00 am

    Here's a report on the Dem response to the guv's speech (Spoiler alert: It's not inspiring):

    Sam DeGrave, Texas Observer: Texas Democrats Have Few Tools to Stop Republican Agenda

    This report claims that SB 4 could face a committee vote on Thursday and clear the Senate before next week is over. Let's hope the House can slow things down quite a bit.

  • 12. allan120102  |  January 31, 2017 at 11:19 pm

    Breaking Durango fails to legalize ssm sadly. Hoping an action of unconstitutionality is filed as they modify part of the civil code to prohibit child marriage but as seeing for now that neither Tlaxcala nor Veracruz challenge there's I am not hopeful this will be different.

  • 13. theperchybird  |  February 1, 2017 at 1:02 am

    It was only 4 in favor vs 15 against. PAN-PRD are in an alliance in the state and members of both parties voted Yes, it was PRI that caused the bill to fail. What's worse is that it was the same person who lobbied to have the bill discussed last minute that voted No like his fellow PRIsters. UGH.

    Tally was 4 Yes, 15 No, 4 Abstentions and 1 Null Vote.

  • 14. VIRick  |  February 1, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    Reaction to Negative Vote in Durango Congress to Marriage Equality

    Per Ricardo Salazar:

    Listos para una controversia constitucional? … los idiotas diputados del Congreso De Durango votaron en contra del matrimonio igualitario.

    Ready for a constitutional controversy? … the idiot deputies of the Durango Congress voted against marriage equality.

    The vote occurred shortly after midnight (local time), in the wee hours of the morning on 1 February 2017.

  • 15. VIRick  |  February 1, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    Durango: Next Step for Marriage Equality

    Ahora, activistas LGBTTTI, las asociaciones civiles y defensores de derechos humanos, planean solicitar la intervención de la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (SCJN) para que exhorte al Congreso de Durango a acatar lo establecido en la Constitución Política de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos respecto a la no discriminación.

    Now, LGBTTTI activists, civil associations, and human rights defenders, plan to request the intervention of Mexico's Supreme Court of Justice (SCJN) to urge the Durango Congress to abide by what is established in the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States with respect to non-discrimination.

  • 16. Fortguy  |  January 31, 2017 at 11:34 pm

    On a more uplifting note, Texas now has its first ever transgender elected official:

    John Wright, Texas Observer: Collin County Mayor Becomes Texas’ First Transgender Elected Official

    New Hope may be a small town–for now–but it won't be for much longer. Collin County is already one of the state's largest counties and is growing at exponential rates. The county seat is McKinney and the largest city is Plano. Portions of the southern part of the county are also within the city limits of Dallas.

  • 17. josejoram  |  January 31, 2017 at 11:39 pm

    We`ve got now wacko Gorsuch. Now what?

  • 18. Fortguy  |  February 1, 2017 at 12:14 am

    That's the big question. Should the Dems fight Gorsuch, a court candidate any GOP president would appoint, and risk the GOPers throwing the nuclear option forever ending the filibuster, or keep that option in their pockets should Trump ever have the opportunity to nominate someone truly awful such as Edith Jones of the Fifth Circuit?

    In 2018, the Dems have more Senate seats up for reelection, and many of those senators will be from Trump-supporting states. Unfortunately, Dem politicians have a sorry history of acting like GOP-lite candidates in adverse situations while GOP candidates double-down on crazy. Do we have strong, scary, progressive challengers lined up threatening to primary them if they cave and move right?

  • 19. ianbirmingham  |  February 1, 2017 at 1:44 am

    The lining up of challengers is in progress. See


  • 20. guitaristbl  |  February 1, 2017 at 11:28 am

    I think it is a really bad move to primary democratic candidates in 2018. Yes Dems have more seats up but let's not forget that in these mid terms they go relieved of the pressure of governance at any level and they are playing offence.Challenging moderates like McCaskill or Heitkamp will only make it easier for democrats to lose these seats which are imo very winnable right now. Democrats must maintain powers in 2018 in the senate and even pick up a seat or two if possible before going all out in 2020.

    As for Gorsuch they should fight him tooth and nail – this has nothing to do with being moderate, it has to do with him being completely unqualified and extremistic for this position or any court position for that matter.

  • 21. Zack12  |  February 2, 2017 at 1:17 am

    IMO, you only go for a primary challenge in a deep, deep Blue state like Hawaii or CT.
    Otherwise, we have to stick with what we have.

  • 22. Elihu_Bystander  |  February 2, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    Yes the Dem's need to fight his nomination. It is the right thing to do whatever the consequences. Gorsuch is truly unacceptable. There are less offensive conservative candidates that Trump could nominate that could gain some Democratic support. In deed I have asked my two Democratic senators to block Gorsuch's nomination. The current senate rules do not allow the nuclear option in the case of nomination to the Supreme Court.

  • 23. VIRick  |  February 1, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    Venezuelan Same-Sex Couple "Civil Unioned" in Chile

    Per Venezuela Igualitaria:

    Jhonn y Leandro, venezolanos unidos civilmente en Chile: "ser visibles es transformar la conciencia colectiva"

    Jhonn and Leandro, Venezuelans united civilly in Chile: "To be visible is to transform the collective conscience" (along with a photo of the couple embracing at the ceremony in front of a Chilean flag).

    Previously, I had read of Peruvian same-sex couples travelling over their southern border to be "civil unioned" in northern-most Chile, but this is the first instance I have encountered of Venezuelans travelling that distance for the same purpose. Presumably, from the growing evidence, same-sex couples from everywhere can be "civil unioned" in Chile (a point which was not made immediately clear in the original legislation).

  • 24. VIRick  |  February 1, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    New York City Bodegas to Shut Down in Protest over Immigration Ban

    Yemeni-run grocery stores across the city will close from noon-8 PM on Thursday, 2 February 2017, in protest to the controversial Muslim ban executive order.

    Days after New York yellow cab drivers went on strike to protest Trump’s Muslim ban executive order, another community of immigrants central to the life of the city are planning a strike of their own. Bodega owners — a trade dominated by Yemeni-Americans in New York City — plan to close their doors on Thursday to show their opposition to the ban. Organizers say more than 1,000 Yemeni-American grocery store owners across the five boroughs plan to participate.

    Yemeni-Americans are heavily represented in the New York bodega scene, and many have family members still in the process of applying for residency, whose visa applications are now on hold.

  • 25. VIRick  |  February 1, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    Trump Tried Dressing His Pig in High Heels and Lipstick,– but It's Still a Pig

    Here’s How, Worldwide, State Department Officials Are Being Coached To Talk About Trump’s Travel Ban:

    A “playbook” went out on Tuesday, 31 January 2017, to State Department staffers — including those at embassies worldwide — trying to explain how to discuss Trump’s executive order related to the Muslim ban, that is, in temporarily stopping the refugee resettlement program and in banning immigration from seven Muslim-majority nations.

    The final note at the very bottom states: "This playbook is for the use of posts and senior State Department officials. Please treat this document as you would Daily Press Guidance," but the "dressed-up pig" document has "somehow" become publicly available, and instead, can be read in its entirety here:

  • 26. VIRick  |  February 1, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    She Defied ISIS. Now Trump Won’t Let Her In.

    “It is not fair to equate victim and torturer,” says Vian Dakhil, the Iraqi lawmaker and ISIS opponent barred from coming to the US to accept her human rights award.

    Vian Dakhil, the sole Yazidi member of Iraq’s parliament, was on a 12 August 2014 mission to aid and rescue fellow Yazidis displaced by ISIS’s rampage. But the helicopter became too loaded with passengers and crashed. The pilot was killed and several people were injured. A mangled leg, cracked ribs, and a head injury kept Dakhil hospitalized for 10 days, and a year in recovery.

    Still, she has spent the last two-and-a-half years rescuing and tending to girls and young women kidnapped, enslaved, and raped by ISIS fighters, and children orphaned by the war. For her efforts, this year she won the prestigious Lantos Human Rights Prize, whose previous recipients included the Dalai Lama and Elie Wiesel. But she will almost certainly be unable to accept the award in person, because of Trump’s ban on all Iraqis visiting the US for 90 days — a move intended to block terror groups like ISIS that Dakhil has risked her life opposing.

    Trump said in a tweet that he imposed the ban without warning to keep out “bad ‘dudes’” who might “rush” into the US. The move has rapidly thrown the lives of US allies and minorities Trump says he seeks to protect into disarray. In another example, Iraqi Kurd filmmaker Hussain Hassan will likely be unable to attend the Miami festival screening of his own film, The Dark Wind, about the Yazidis’ plight at the hands of ISIS.

  • 27. VIRick  |  February 1, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    Federal Judge in Los Angeles Issues Restraining Order against Trump Immigration Order

    Court Order #6, Second from Los Angeles

    A federal judge in Los Angeles issued a temporary restraining order against Trump’s executive action, barring officials from blocking people with valid immigrant visas from entering the US. The ruling, issued Tuesday, 31 January 2017, from US District Judge Andre Birotte Jr., dealt another blow to Trump’s executive order blocking all people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US for 90 days.

    Birotte’s ruling declared that federal officials could not remove, detain, or block people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen who had a valid immigrant visa.

    It follows other rulings against Trump’s executive order. A federal judge in New York issued a stay on the same executive action, barring federal officials from removing people affected by the order. An order from Massachusetts stopped federal officials from removing and detaining those affected.

    The latest ruling in Los Angeles took it another step further — but only as to those with a valid immigrant visa — by telling authorities they can’t remove, detain, or block people with a valid immigrant visa from entering the country. Because it only applies to people with a valid immigrant visa, however, the ruling affects a limited group of people potentially affected by Trump’s order.

    One can read the pertinent parts of this latest TRO here:

  • 28. VIRick  |  February 1, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    Leaked Draft of Trump’s Religious Freedom Order Reveals Sweeping Plans to Legalize Discrimination

    Per Equality Case Files:

    If signed, the order would create wholesale exemptions for people and organizations who claim religious objections to same-sex marriage, premarital sex, abortion, and trans identity.

    The four-page draft order, a copy of which is currently circulating among federal staff and advocacy organizations, construes religious organizations so broadly that it covers “any organization, including closely held for-profit corporations,” and protects “religious freedom” in every walk of life: “when providing social services, education, or healthcare; earning a living, seeking a job, or employing others; receiving government grants or contracts; or otherwise participating in the marketplace, the public square, or interfacing with Federal, State or local governments.”

    Language in the draft document specifically protects the tax-exempt status of any organization that “believes, speaks, or acts (or declines to act) in accordance with the belief that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, sexual relations are properly reserved for such a marriage, male and female and their equivalents refer to an individual’s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy, physiology, or genetics at or before birth, and that human life begins at conception and merits protection at all stages of life.”

    The breadth of the draft order, which legal experts described as “sweeping” and “staggering,” may exceed the authority of the executive branch if enacted. It also, by extending some of its protections to one particular set of religious beliefs, would risk violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution.

    “This executive order would appear to require agencies to provide extensive exemptions from a staggering number of federal laws—without regard to whether such laws substantially burden religious exercise,” said Marty Lederman, a professor at Georgetown University Law Center and an expert on church-state separation and religious freedom.

    The exemptions, Lederman said, could themselves violate federal law or license individuals and private parties to violate federal law. “Moreover,” he added, “the exemptions would raise serious First Amendment questions, as well, because they would go far beyond what the Supreme Court has identified as the limits of permissive religious accommodations.” It would be “astonishing,” he said, “if the Office of Legal Counsel certifies the legality of this blunderbuss order.”

  • 29. scream4ever  |  February 1, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    Yah there's no way this will stand up in court.

  • 30. Zack12  |  February 2, 2017 at 1:17 am

    Only if Kennedy decides it doesn't.
    Gorsuch and the other bigoted three won't have any problem upholding this.

  • 31. guitaristbl  |  February 2, 2017 at 4:54 am

    As predicted – he won't rescind Obama's executive order. He will simply override it and render it useless. This is the scariest thing I have seen. It's FADA on steroids in an executive order format.

  • 32. Zack12  |  February 2, 2017 at 10:45 am

    I wonder where all the LGBT people for Trump folks will be at?

  • 33. guitaristbl  |  February 3, 2017 at 8:12 am

    Oh most of them are fine with being discriminated against in every sphere and feel bad for poor christians who deny service to gay people – as long as their dear president keeps them safe from bad muslim terrorists who are about to kill them all according to them..

  • 34. VIRick  |  February 2, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    Half will start an alternate narrative, falsely claiming they never supported/voted for him, while the other half will either crawl back under their rock and never say a word or will return to hiding in their little gilded closets.

    In most instances, the only reason any LGBT people ever supported him in the first instance was because there are other "others" out there in the population who they hate more than themselves.

  • 35. VIRick  |  February 1, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    Trump's Diplomatic "Finesse" on Display

    All in one day, Trump threatened to send US troops to invade Mexico, lambasted the PM of Australia for attempting to send the "next Boston bomber" to the USA, and then put Iran "on notice."

    The phone call to Mexico threatening to invade is detailed here:

    The phone call to Australia, in which he hung up, after blasting his mouth, is here:

    And the Iran being put "on notice" notice is here:

  • 36. VIRick  |  February 1, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    The class-action lawsuit, "Sarsour v. Trump," filed by the Council on American Islamic Relations on 30 January 2017 in the Eastern District of Virginia, challenging his blanket immigration order, can be found here in its entirety:

  • 37. VIRick  |  February 1, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    Virginia Lawmakers Kill Two More Anti-LGBT Bills

    On Tuesday, 31 January 2017, Virginia lawmakers killed two more anti-LGBT bills that state Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince William County) had introduced.

    One, HB 1667, got tabled by a sub-committee within the General Laws Committee, while on the same day, the House Rules Committee killed the other. I won't bother with the details of each, other than to state that this "Old Fart" simply doesn't quit. He's now 0-43 in his unceasing efforts.

  • 38. guitaristbl  |  February 2, 2017 at 4:56 am

    Collins and Murkowski to vote against DeVos's nomination for secretary of education :

    That brings the result to a tie Pence can resolve still but it is something.

  • 39. guitaristbl  |  February 2, 2017 at 7:41 am

    Trump vows to "totally destroy" the Johnson Amendment banning political activities for tax-exempt churches while speaking to religious leaders :

    I am at loss of words anymore..I hope this fails in congress if ever attempted.

  • 40. VIRick  |  February 2, 2017 at 11:09 am

    Alabama: Attorneys' Fees/Costs Settled in Marriage Case

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 20 January 2017, in "Strawser v. Strange," the Alabama class-action marriage case, one of the last marriage cases to be settled, and certainly one of the most contentious at every stage of its existence, the district court has finally issued its order on the plaintiffs attorneys' fees and costs:

    "In accordance with the parties’ negotiated resolution, the Court
    ORDERS that Defendants, who are sued in their official capacity as officers of the State of Alabama, are to pay a total of $315,000.00 (three hundred fifteen thousand and 00/100 dollars) to Plaintiffs’ counsel.."

    Full order is linked here:

    Given everything else that has happened in the interval on so many other LGBT subjects, this case, only now finally being settled, feels as if it had occurred a century ago.

  • 41. 1grod  |  February 2, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    Yes, Senior District Judge Callie Granade strikes again. Her original decisions (Searcy v Strange Jan 23 2015 was followed four days later with Strawser) do seem long ago. However there are still 9-11/68 probate judges who continue to ignore her order. .

  • 42. Zack12  |  February 2, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    One of the lamest arguments I've hearing in why Democrats shouldn't block Gorsuch is Trump will appoint someone worse such as Bill Pyror.
    When Gorsuch (he will get there) takes his seat on SCOTUS, the only person more conservative them him will be Thomas.
    And if you look up his history, he is just as bad as Scalia, Pryor and any other name you can think of.
    We aren't dodging a bullet here, we're getting someone who will uphold anti LGBT laws in a heartbeat.

  • 43. Elihu_Bystander  |  February 2, 2017 at 8:02 pm

    As I understand William Pyror's written case law, he is not nearly as bad as Gorsuch, not even close. I actually believe he might be the best conservative justice for LGBT rights because he understands how to use precedence, and he has done so on the 11th Circuit on our behalf. Gorsuch clearly does not.

  • 44. scream4ever  |  February 2, 2017 at 11:17 pm

    Gorsuch hasn't really had the opportunity to demonstrate it yet in a direct manner.

  • 45. VIRick  |  February 2, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    Kurdish LGBT Rights Activist: Message to Trump

    The "Washington Blade" has published an opinion piece written by Ayaz Shalal Hassan of the Rasan Organization, the LGBT rights group based in Sulimaniyah, Iraq, one of a tiny handful of LGBT advocacy groups based in the Middle East.

    A pertinent excerpt:

    You cannot make America great if you repress LGBTQI people. If there is no fairness, no respect and no freedom, there will be no development and no prosperity. The LGBTQI community around the world is very powerful and it is not something you can forget because of your personal problems and preferences. If you think LGBTQI community members do not deserve to be respected because of who they are, then you really have educational problems and need to do more research. I can volunteer to help you with that.

    Ayaz is out and proud in Kurdistan, working full-time on a sundry assortment of extremely difficult rights issues,– and yet, despite having already visited the USA more than 7 times, is now banned from re-entering.

  • 46. Fortguy  |  February 2, 2017 at 11:46 pm

    Texas Lege update: SB 4, the "sanctuary cities" bill sponsored by Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock), remains in the Senate State Affairs Committee for another day of debate and public commentary being as everyone and their undocumented uncle has something to say. Most people addressing the committee are opposed to the bill.

    Julián Aguilar, The Texas Tribune: Protesters flood Texas Capitol as committee debates sanctuary cities bill

    Since I last posted on this, the bill has been updated to forbid "sanctuary campuses" at colleges and universities and expand the state funding sources that can be denied to local entities.

    Julián Aguilar, The Texas Tribune: Ahead of Thursday hearing, Texas Senate adds muscle to anti-sanctuary city bill

    In addition to those addressing the committee in opposition, there was no shortage of protesters on hand at the Capitol no doubt energized by the events of the past weekend.

    Lyanne A. Guarecuco, Texas Observer: Hundreds Fill Texas Capitol to Oppose Anti-Sanctuary Cities Bill

    The bill may be voted out of committee tomorrow, and Lt. Gov. Potty Patrick hopes to have the bill clear the Senate next week. The nine-member State Affairs Committee includes only two Dems while the 31-member Senate overall includes 11 Dems. The bill now has a House counterpart filed by Rep. Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth), but it is unclear whether the House will be on board with the recent changes Perry made to the Senate bill. It's also unclear whether Speaker Straus regards Gov. Abbott's "emergency agenda" with the same sense of urgency.

    Meanwhile, the same Senate committee did release to the floor one other "emergency" item being SB 14, a bill to pretend they actually give a damn about ethics reform when everyone knows they don't give a rat's ass. Nevertheless, the bill does at least have good token improvements.

    Jay Root, The Texas Tribune: Committee sends ethics reform package to Senate floor

    Again, no word yet on what its prospects are in the House.

  • 47. 1grod  |  February 4, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    In the last of the decisions in AL's same-sex marriage cases,on 30 January 2017, the 11th District Appeals Court refused attorney fees in the range of $100,000 in the Aaron- Bush vs Bentley recognition of out of state marriages case. A final order was never obtained in the case. A final order is required before attorneys are eligible to get legal fees from the state, the appeals court ruled. In contrast, in Searcy and in Stranger, final orders had been obtained and as Rick report in a thread two days ago lawyers' fees were paid.

  • 48. VIRick  |  February 4, 2017 at 9:16 pm

    Same-Sex Marriage Litigation Ends in Alabama

    Previously, some months ago, attorneys for Cari Searcy and and Kim McKeand, in "Searcy v. Strange," whose case was the one in which Judge Granade originally declared on 23 January 2015 that Alabama's Sanctity of Marriage Act is unconstitutional because it banned same-sex marriage, were awarded $126,000 from the state for their legal fees.

    Much more recently, on 20 January 2017, in the class-action suit, "Strawser v. Strange," attorneys were awarded $315,000 in costs and fees. In this instance, the groups or attorneys being awarded the legal fees are the SPLC, the ACLU of Alabama, the NCLR, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, and Heather Fann of Fann Law, LLC, in Birmingham.

    But in the lawsuit filed by April and Ginger Aaron-Brush, of Vestavia Hills, "Aaron-Brush v. Attorney-General of Alabama," the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday, 30 January 2017, affirmed a lower court ruling that denies legal fees for attorneys in their 2014 lawsuit. In that case, the Aaron-Brush couple sought to have their out-of-state marriage recognized by the state. Their lawsuit was aimed at allowing the couple to do certain things such as getting drivers' licenses and filing joint tax returns.

    Randall Marshall, acting director of the ACLU of Alabama, who was also involved in the "Aaron-Brush" case, said what happened in "Strawser" is that that case went all the way to a final judgment and obtained a permanent injunction against probate judges. There also was an order issued in the "Searcy" case, he said. A final order that makes a change for the parties is required before attorneys are eligible to get legal fees from the state, and a final order was never obtained in the "Aaron-Brush" case, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled.

    Attorneys for Aaron-Brush had asked District Court Judge David Proctor to order the state to pay legal fees and costs, but the judge denied it, and they appealed the denial to the 11th Circuit Court, Marshall said. "We knew it was a difficult appeal when we filed it," Marshall said. "It was a long shot appeal and it was not successful." The legal fees and costs in that case for plaintiff attorneys was estimated by Marshall at about $100,000.

    Note: The 4th Alabama same-sex marriage recognition case, "Hard v. Fancher," falls into a special category, as it was actually a wrongful-death suit with an evil mother-in-law, greedily claiming 100% of the monetary proceeds. Paul Hard did not sue the state, but rather, Pat Fancher, for his rightful, legal share, and was successful once the state had recognized his Massachusetts marriage as valid.

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